The manufactured housing industry offered larger, more comfortable and more luxurious models every year. A constant battle to come up with the latest concept or feature brewed between those companies and for good reason. Just like a vehicle, people could trade their homes in for the newer model with all the fancy gadgetry. The newest concept equaled profit and that is always the bottom line.

The 1950’s was a great decade for mobile homes and great engineering feats were made. In an effort to increase living space the architects tried the 2 story mobile homes. However, they eventually realized that a 2 story mobile house was not the safest or easiest produced. Therefore, they went out with their designs instead of up.

I can’t give you the exact dates or names of the first companies to come up with expandable living spaces. I can show you all the great ads and brochures though! Here’s a few I was able to find in all my mess:

I happen to have an entire brochure about the DUBL-WIDE by Roadliner. Front to back, this piece of literature has always been one of my favorites.

The DUBL-Wide by Roadliner was a top of the line luxury home in the early 1960’s. It was the epitome of style and class. It also happened to be a fully expandable home. A 9 ft. wide home could be expanded into an 18 ft. wide home.

This home used an electric crank system and could be moved while expanded. Think about that for a minute: an 18 foot wide home that could be moved without damage to the chassis. That’s amazing engineering!

The expandable homes were the first step in what is known today as double wides and triple wides. There was issues with the expandable systems, whether they were hand cranked or electric. Leaks were probably the biggest. The light weight material needed was not as energy efficient as it needed to be so the concept naturally progressed into 2 completely separate units becoming one. Instead of one becoming a larger unit in itself.

I find mobile home history to be fascinating. Who knows why, maybe because mobile homes were a direct extension of the automobile. The progression of design is amazing too. They started so small and simple and they just kept going, each year was a better model than the last.

As always, thank you so much for reading Mobile Home Living!
There’s plenty more great articles, featured homes and inspiration coming up, be sure to come back soon.

2 ads were found at Atlas Mobile Home Directory.

About The Author


Hello! I'm Crystal, the creator of Mobile Home Living and I appreciate you stopping by! I hope MHL is an inspiring and informative resource for you! Please consider letting me feature your remodels, room makeovers, and home improvement projects. There's not enough inspiration available for manufactured homeowners and I want to change that. Thanks!

4 Responses

  1. Sandi

    I know I'm late on this post, but in 1977 we bought one of these folding mobiles made by Magnolia mobile homes. It looked like the first one posted here, but ours had bay windows and no sliding door over the tongue. It did have a fold down wood porch that covered the tongue. It folded out to about 30 feet. All the wet area's where down the middle. It came with harvest gold appliances, bath fixtures, carpet and curtains. Pretty cool huh? Heating and cooling bills were never above $30.00 a month. Those were the days. It would have been a great home only if the people that set it on our site knew what they were doing. They damaged the thing so bad. When the wind blew the dirt would come in so bad it would set off the smoke alarms. Ours was the only one that dealer sold as Magnolia took their dealer ship from them. I remember one thing I had to do was a yearly check of seeing if the wing nuts that held the home together where still tight. Years after we sold the home we helped some people take down one that was hit by a tornado (by the way the tornado took out all the stick homes too). I don't know what brand or year it was, but the interesting thing about it was the floor in the home. It was made from a thin layer of plywood, then a layer of about two inch cardboard in a honey comb shape then another thin layer of plywood. I guess that was to save weight.

    • Lynn Dollarhide

      My parents bought a Magnolia expandable triple wide the summer of 1971 in Columbus, Ga. They later moved it to Columbia, SC in 1975 and then to Elgin, SC where it has been ever since. My brother lives in now. It has a very unique interior layout with the kitchen and 2 baths down the center and narrow 7′ bedrooms down both sides. The hall is very narrow too. The ceiling height at the sidewalls is only about 7′ but 9′ in the center of the living room. I would love to find a brochure and/or manual for it. I am a true trailer gal. Been living in them since I was born, a 30′ footer, unknown brand. Then a New Moon with a ‘tipout’ room in the mid 60’s. After I left home I bought my own Fleetwood in 1979. Owned it for 3 years. After living in apartments, a condo and a house I needed to get back on a rubber foundation. I moved into an RV in 1993 and have been in one ever since. A 30′ aluminum Avion since 2005. 44 years out of 54. Trailers forever! Lynn Dollarhide

      • Crystal Adkins

        Lynn, you’re my kinda lady!! I’m so glad to have you here; we need more true trailer gals in the world 🙂

        I will certainly keep an eye out for anything I can find on Magnolia. I probably have an ad or 2, at least.

        Thanks so much!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.